Seasonal asthma

Asthma can get worse with summer hayfever and cold winter air - here's what you should know.

Asthma is a long term condition which affects the lungs and airways, causing them to become inflamed. It produces the following symptoms: coughing, wheezing, having difficulty breathing and chest tightness. Everyone experiences asthma differently as there are multiple possible triggers and types of the condition. 

What is seasonal asthma?

If you have asthma and only experience symptoms at certain times of the year then this is known as seasonal asthma. This usually happens during winter or summer as cold weather, hot weather and pollen are common asthma triggers. 

How do I manage seasonal asthma? 

If you notice that your symptoms are only flaring up during certain times of the year then the first thing you should do is tell your doctor. Having regular appointments and check-ups is important so that you are able to manage your asthma effectively. Your doctor will be able to revise your written asthma plan in order to tackle your seasonal symptoms. Once you have identified your trigger, whether that is hot or cold weather or an allergy to pollen (hay fever) you can take steps to prepare in advance and have preventer inhalers ready. 

How do I manage seasonal asthma in winter? 

Cold air is a common asthma trigger and can cause the airways to tighten, triggering symptoms like coughing, chest tightness and breathing difficulties. Taking the following steps may help to prevent symptoms as much as possible and reduce your chances of an asthma attack: 

  • Using a preventer inhaler twice daily 
  • Making sure you always carry your reliever inhaler in case you need it
  • Wrap up warm when going outdoors
  • Keep your indoor environment as warm and dry as possible 

How do I manage seasonal asthma in summer? 

Hot air and humidity can also trigger asthma but the biggest cause of summer seasonal asthma is pollen. If you have hay fever then it is important you keep this under control to allow you to manage your asthma as it is a common trigger. For example: 

  • Use your preventer inhaler every day if you have one 
  • Always keep your reliever inhaler with you 
  • Take antihistamines to prevent hay fever symptoms from occurring 
  • Stay indoors when possible on days where the pollen count is high
  • Avoid walking across freshly cut grass or keeping flowers in the house 
  • Keep windows closed where possible 
  • Wash clothes after being outdoors 

If you are using your reliever inhaler more than twice a week, tell your doctor right away as this indicates that your asthma is not being managed properly. They will prescribe you with a preventer inhaler to use every day which stops symptoms from flaring up. 

View all asthma treatments

Sources: 

Asthma UK> Types of Asthma

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